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IPR weekly Highlights (22)

8 (Demo)
CHANEL WINS AGAINST ‘WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND’

In 2018, Chanel brought forth a trademark infringement lawsuit against the online marketplace “What Goes Around Comes Around” (WGACA) in the United States. The lawsuit alleged that WGACA had improperly used Chanel’s brand image to promote the sale of its second-hand products without authorization. WGACA, founded in 1993 by Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser, has grown into a leading global retailer of luxury designer items, particularly focusing on bags and fashion accessories. On February 6, a New York jury sided with Chanel, ruling on four key points: (i) trademark infringement, (ii) unfair competition through false association, (iii) the sale of counterfeit Chanel products, and (iv) the use of specific hashtags related to counterfeit sales and false advertising. Citing the Lanham Act of 1946, the Jury directed WGACA to pay Chanel $4 million. While Chanel cannot prevent the resale of its second-hand products on third-party platforms that adhere to stringent authentication processes for privately sold items, it effectively leveraged other legal arguments in this case.

Reference: 

(1) https://luxus-plus.com/en/chanel-wins-trademark-infringement-case-against-resale-platform-what-goes-around-comes-around/

TRADEMARK
JAVA BELONGS TO ORACLE

The Delhi High Court has imposed a strict ban on all present and future unauthorized use of the WinZo brand across multiple platforms. Orders are issued by the Court, for domain name registrars to pass on registrant information to the Internet Service Providers, MeiTY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), DOT (Department of Telecommunications), and online platforms to prevent access to infringement-related websites. Legal action is actively being taken against the websites that use WinZo trademarks or similar trademarks in domain names, app extensions, or social networking platforms.

Reference: 

(1) https://indiankanoon.org/doc/136976244/

TRADEMARK
METAX LLC FILES TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT AGAINST META PLATFORMS, INC. OVER ‘META’ REBRANDING”

On July 19, 2022, MetaX LLC, initiated legal proceedings against Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook in the U.S. District Court. MetaX LLC, alleging trademark infringement, asserts that Facebook’s rebranding to “Meta” encroaches upon Meta’s established trademark rights. Meta contends that Facebook’s adoption of the “Meta” name directly infringes on Meta’s longstanding use of the mark in the realm of experiential and immersive technologies, dating back to 2010. Meta accuses Facebook of leveraging its substantial resources to dominate the market with its infringing “META” mark, thereby jeopardizing Meta’s business prospects and diluting its brand identity. Despite Meta’s efforts to resolve the matter amicably, Facebook allegedly persisted in its infringing activities, even becoming a direct competitor to Meta in the industry.

Reference: 

(1) https://unicourt.com/case/pc-db5-metax-llc-v-meta-platforms-inc-1243758

TRADEMARK
CASTROL WINS AGAINST CASTROI

The Delhi High Court has ruled in favor of Castrol Limited in a trademark infringement case against Rajesh Kumar Tuteja and Seema Tuteja. As a result of the case, the court has awarded Castrol ₹12 lakhs in expenses and damages. The dispute centered around the defendants’ use of the trademark “Newcast Roi Racing” and trade dress for engine oil products, which the court found to be deceptively similar to Castrol’s well-established trademark “Castrol.” The court concluded that the defendants obtained their trademark registration in bad faith and engaged in deceptive practices that infringed upon Castrol’s intellectual property rights. This ruling stands as a significant victory for Castrol in safeguarding its trademarks and brand reputation.

Reference: 

(1) https://www.livelaw.in/high-court/delhi-high-court/delhi-high-court-castrol-suit-newcast-roi-racing-engine-oil-manufacturer-250158

COPYRIGHT
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE v/s HUMAN INTELLIGENCE

The legal dispute between music publishers and AI developer Anthropic has reached a pivotal moment, as the publishers’ attorneys now claim that Anthropic deliberately trained its Claude AI chatbot to reproduce copyrighted lyrics. In response, Anthropic’s legal team has argued for the defense of fair use. With both sides exchanging allegations, all await the forthcoming court decision. If the court agrees with Anthropic’s assertion that its use of copyrighted lyrics falls under the “fair use” exception to copyright laws, Anthropic could secure the right to utilize these lyrics without seeking authorization. This potential outcome holds significant implications for the music industry and other holders of intellectual property. Conversely, should the court reject Anthropic’s “fair use” defense, the company’s actions throughout the case may become crucial. The court’s ruling could shape the future steps required of the AI company and the potential damages it might be required to pay the music publishers. The copyright battle between music publishers and AI developer Anthropic has taken a dramatic turn, with the music publisher’s attorneys alleging that Anthropic.

Reference: 

(1) https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/anthropic-trained-its-ai-to-rip-off-copyrighted-lyrics-music-publishers-allege-in-escalating-court-battle/

PATENT
APPLE HAS SECURED A U.S. PATENT FOR ITS “FABRIC CONTROL DEVICE”

The US tech giant Apple has filed a patent for a touch-sensitive smart textile, woven with conductive threads, designed to “detect the occurrence, location, and force of a touch.” This innovative device, the smart touch-sensitive textile, is envisioned to be integrated into articles of clothing, textile-based garments, and wearable electronic devices to enhance their functionality. The patent application includes an illustration depicting a person using his shirt to interact with the electronic device. This latest patent adds to Apple’s exploration of futuristic textiles. In 2022, the company filed the patent for a “fabric control device,” allowing for technology and sensors to be embedded directly into the fabric. Previously, Apple has been granted patents for Smart Apple Watch woven bands and buttons, showcasing their ongoing innovation in wearable technology.

Reference: 

(1) https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/apple-receives-us-patent-fabric-control-device/article67870245.ece

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